The Magic of “I Have Complete Authority”

magicIt was destined to be an awesome surprise dinner for a newly degreed M.D.  In addition to her friends, her family was flying all the way from India to celebrate their daughter’s graduation from medical school.

The surprise was staged at the fine restaurant at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton South Beach on Miami Beach. We watched as the Ritz guest relation’s person, Paul, meticulously placed decorations on the reserved table.  The centerpiece was a gorgeous cake we later learned Paul had designed and had his kitchen friends create.  Noticing our spectator stance from a table nearby, he explained.

“I am so excited,” he told us. “This is going to really surprise her when she arrives.” He then told us all about the occasion requested by her friends.  “I have only been in this job three weeks and I love it.  I worked in the kitchen but this job is amazing.  I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about ways to delight our guests.” His passion was obvious.

“I was supposed to get off at 4:30 but I am staying for this event,” he continued.  “They are coming at seven and I need to be here to make sure everything works perfect for her.”

“How did you know what to do?” we asked Paul.  “I just used my imagination after my manager told me I had complete authority to do whatever I wanted to make this guest thrilled,” he told us.  And, as if we failed to hear it the first time he added, “I love my job.”

Now, are you ready for the punch line?  When we asked Paul about his career plans, he told us, “I will be moving back to my home in the Philippines since my student visa will be up.  I’m hoping to stay in hospitality.  My internship here at the Ritz-Carlton has been wonderful.

The Ritz-Carlton so deeply believes in the magic of empowerment that it gave an intern total authority to manage a special event after only three weeks in his position.  But, the real result was not just the special event.  The glow of Paul’s passion reflected brightly throughout the entire hotel restaurant long before the guest of honor arrived.

Photo Credit: Flickr via DMIWench

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